Why Aren’t Idaho High School Grads Going To College?
Finish high school. Get a college degree. Start a family. White picket fence. Those were the goals set for us as kids, right? Well, it looks like today's youth didn't get the message. At least not the part about going to college.
Last year, only 37% of Idaho high school graduates opted to attend college straight out of high school. Which is down 2% from 2020, which also included a large drop in college attendance numbers.
Idaho already has low high school graduation and college attendee numbers, so this news is less than welcome. But what's the cause? Why are high school students in Idaho opting to not attend college?
State Superintendent Sherri Ybarra is guessing it's the current strong job market that's luring students away from secondary education:
This trend is not surprising given the significant disruptions to education over the past three academic years. Historically, there is often a high correlation between low unemployment and low postsecondary enrollment, with more young people opting to join the workforce and delay college.
The odd part is, Idaho has been pouring millions of dollars into programs encouraging students to stay in school, scholarship programs, and other incentives for Idahoans to continue their education. Clearly, it's not working.
Even the governor is taking note. Governor Little's spokesperson recently said:
Gov. Little recognizes the pandemic has had many impacts, and that is why he is committed to investing in education and workforce training.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to have yet another conversation with my father explaining why I still don't have a college degree. Send thoughts and prayers.